Strength Training with Starting Strength

Day 1 StrongLifts 5X5 IMG_4539

These are my Starting Strength “Before” photos. In the coming months, I hope to share some impressive “After” pics.

Update 2/16/14: Initially I was going to follow StrongLifts 5X5, but after injuring myself in Week 2, I decided I better read Starting Strength: Basic Barbell Training by Mark Rippetoe, so I can learn proper form before I squat, bench, press and lift.

My goals are to increase health and fitness, burn more body fat and get lean with strength training. But Jaz, aren’t you afraid you’re going to bulk up? According to the 7 Strength Training Myths Every Woman Should Know,


You know those women bodybuilders who look really bulky? They eat, train, and take supplements specifically so they can look like that! They’ve probably been working towards that goal for years and years.

Here’s the truth: when you pick up heavy things, your muscles get STRONGER (but not necessarily bigger).  If you pump yourself full of testosterone and eat way more calories than you are burning every day, you will get bigger.

If you pick up heavy things, and eat a caloric deficit (and eat the right kinds of food – actual healthy foods), your muscles will get stronger and denser; you will burn the fat on top of your muscle, and you will get that “toned” look that you’re after.

For more great information and reasons to begin Strength Training, check out Strength Training 101 from NerdFitness.com.

I have made a lot of progress with Paleo Keto and body weight exercises four to five days a week (plus occasional cycling, sprinting and tennis), but my waist line has hit a plateau. Would I like to see a six pack by the end of 12 weeks? Sure, that would be amazing. But I won’t be upset if I don’t achieve low enough body fat levels to see it.

What say you?

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